Apart from the endless joy it brings others to see a weasel on a lead, more exotic pets can be great companions and lots of fun. Whether you want to prove your bravery by sharing your home with a boa constrictor, or if your pet toad just understands you better, there is no accounting for taste.
Here's what some animals might say about you:
Forget traditional hamsters, mice and gerbils – sugar gliders are sociable and clever. These little creatures are actually marsupials rather than rodents, which means they carry their young in a pouch much like a kangaroo. Not unlike flying squirrels (although they are not related), sugar gliders have a flap of skin running between their fingers and toes which allows them to glide from tree to tree in the wild.
A sugar glider owner might be someone looking for a long commitment as their furry friend can live up to 12 years. They also require lots of socialising and are happier with at least one other glider. Maybe you are an extreme sports enthusiast and you want a pet with similar interests? Either way, a sugar glider could be a sign of a more adventurous pet owner.
Typical fans of water dwelling pets might push the boat out by getting some tropical fish or even terrapins. But for those who want to take it one step weirder, there’s the axolotl. These strange creatures look like aliens, but they are actually a type of salamander. Unlike other salamanders, axolotls never develop into landlubbers but, instead, keep their gills and live in water into adulthood.
Axolotls have the ability to regenerate lost limbs and can live up to 15 years of age. So if it’s true what they say about owners resembling their pets, axolotl owners must be pretty resourceful and resilient individuals.
Ok, forget what I just said about owners resembling their pets. Pigs aren’t just for the farmyard – they are increasingly found as pets. Despite their reputation, pigs can be clean and are not stupid as made out to be. They can be trained, and make great companions.
That said though, they can grow quite large and be something of a bull in a china shop. They need lots of love and attention, even when they have made a bit of a mess. So if you’ve got room in your house and a heart for a pig, you are probably a sensitive and caring type – no doubt with a good sense of humour too.
This is probably one of the scariest animals you imagine when you think of a more exotic pet. Tarantulas are the creepiest of crawlies, they often eat live prey, and there can be no question of your bravery if you have one living in your home.
Ok, truth time. Although it might sound like a cliché, tarantulas are claimed to be more afraid of you than you are of them. They are very quiet and quite solitary creatures; they scare easily and their large abdomens are very fragile. So contrary to popular belief, owning a tarantula is really a sign of a gentle and attentive personality.
Lastly, a bird may not be the most unusual pet choice, but straying away from the usual budgies to a starling could be rewarding. Mozart famously owned a starling for several years, which he is said to have loved dearly and even taught to sing one of his piano concertos.
Starlings are known to bond closely with their owners and, if Mozart is anything to go by, owning one might just be the sign of a genius.
If none of those suggestions take your fancy, good old cats and dogs have diverse characters – all of which can reflect owners' traits and virtues. To help preserve them, pet insurance can cover cats or dogs in the event of illness, death and loss. Why not help keep them barking, miaowing and purring? After all, there's 'nowt such queer as folk, felines and Fido'…
This guest post was written by Caz Adlington on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury's Bank blog.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post